Meet the Teachers

We’re proud of our teaching staff. They are one well-rounded hodgepodge of knowledge and talent, and though they each come from different backgrounds and areas of study, they share a passion for changing the way people look at their dinner plates, one home-cooked meal at a time.

Are you ready to meet the teachers? 

Tamara Christians

This Montana native and longtime culinarian is the Culinary Education Coordinator here at Cherry Grove Farm. She is owner and executive chef of Jossie Catering, specializing in gourmet rustic mountain food, and is the resident chef to the historic Andalusia estate in Bensalem. When she’s not whipping up something in the kitchen, she’s shooting a mean game of pool, and posing for art students. 

Scott Melman


Scott is a longtime friend of Cherry Grove Farm, and tied to win last year’s Cow Parade Cake-off! His greatest love is to cook, share, and eat fine food. He has worked in several restaurants, and last summer he was head chef at the World Fellowship Center in New Hampshire. Scott is currently earning a degree in art education at TCNJ, and he can’t wait to graduate and pursue his culinary career full time.

 Anna Molinski


Anna is the Program Director for the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers, where she promotes the plant breeding program and supports local agriculture. An avid cook, she is passionate about yoga, kickboxing, and all kinds of food and food systems. She claims her Kitchen Aid mixer as her prized possession.

Arielle Notterman


Arielle is a New Jersey native with a Masters degree in special education. She is currently reviving the family farm and embarking on a new degree in horticultural therapy. Whether it’s through her line of all-natural beauty products or simply preserving the bounty of a harvest, Notterman is excited to share with fellow community members how, in the words of Thoreau, “to live the life you have imagined”. 

Joel Odhner

This raw food, vegan, and traditional chef has fed celebrities and some of the world’s leading business executives. In addition to owning his own raw restaurant, he was a consultant to Dr. Oz, with whom he has appeared as the featured chef on “You—the owner’s manual”, and as the personal nutrition coach on the program “Inner and Outer Beauty” on the Discovery Health Channel. 

 Kim Rizk

Kim is a certified Master Preserver and co-owner of Princeton’s Jammin’ Crepes cafe. Her micro-batch jams and local seasonal menu items have an avid local following. Her restaurant started in 2009 as a farm stand, and in 2014 became the brick and mortar on Nassau Street.

Niki Schlett


Niki is Program Manager at a group home for adults with mental illness, and has three (!!) degrees, in anthropology, psychology, and counseling. She likes to cook most things (soups at the moment), and wishes she had more time to make food stuff. She also really likes to bake! Niki likes to read and crochet, and recently started trying to not kill all of her plants. 

Ben Walmer

Cherry Grove Farm

Ben is the founding architect of Broadloom, an interdisciplinary design practice with diverse specialties, including restaurant design, food systems design, and agricultural master planning. He is a founding chef of Highlands Dinner Club, Broadloom’s ongoing experiment using the table to connect and celebrate people, place, and producer. Ben’s favorite books are Blood Meridian and Moby Dick. He loves traveling to obscure locations to break bread with strangers.



1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens